The Brisbane Broncos do have more depth than you think at pivot for Saturday Nights Elimination Final against the Melbourne Storm. With Peter Wallace breaking an ankle and ousted for the year, there was initial focus on Ben Hunt for the call-up.
Rookie Hunt has only had 2 NRL caps to his name, but skills wise – the kid can certainly play. As leading NRL analyst Phil Gould said, it makes sense to throw a ‘specialist’ into the position as opposed to reshuffling the side and moving another more senior player there.
Another long shot option was to move Dave Taylor to pivot, using the giant as a running five-eighth – but this is more media madness or ducks and drakes, as opposed to a genuine solution.
You can guarantee that big Davey Taylor will be running wide on the edges again, the position that has seen him hit peak form and carry the Broncos into the finals and well beyond.
In terms of other options at pivot, out of favour Brisbane utility PJ Marsh is another candidate that could easily fill the role. The former Parramatta and Warriors hooker has been dwindling in reserve grade and has plenty of big match experience. He can easily handle five-eighth and wouldn’t be overawed by the occasion at all.
The final option is mobile forward Ben Te’o; who has apparently offered coach Ivan Henjack his services at five-eighth. This could potentially be another move to throw the enemy off the scent, making it hard to prepare – but Te’o is certainly a mobile player and has Feleti Mateo like handling skills, offering the Broncos another dimension in the middle.
Te’o the former Tiger, has scored some impressive tries in the past 2 seasons and has an incredible offload that would suit his side well.
Brisbane’s brains trust, which numbers ex-halves Henjak, Allan Langer and Paul Green, and skipper Lockyer, will busily formulate the club’s “Plan B” today.
“It’s a difficult choice – they are all viable options,” Henjak said. “It would be a big ask to bring someone into the team that hasn’t been there for two months.
“We have a number of options. It will all depend on how we want to play and what game plan we come up with.